While most couples draft marital contracts before they are legally married, it is completely legal – and in some cases even beneficial – to draft an agreement after getting married. Known as “postnuptial agreements,” marital contracts drafted after marriage can address all the same issues as prenuptial agreements and are bound by all of the same procedural rules and restrictions, as well.
If you and your spouse are considering signing a post-marital contract, a Toronto postnuptial agreements lawyer such as Paul Riley could provide the guidance you need to make the best decision for your situation. If you decide to proceed with creating an agreement, a dedicated marital contracts lawyer could work on your behalf to protect your interests and help facilitate an equitable drafting process.
The main purposes of postnuptial contracts include excluding certain assets from the property division stage of a potential future divorce and establishing guidelines for how shared assets, debts, and obligations should be divided between spouses if the marriage ends. Post-marital agreements can also address matters related to financial support that one spouse may owe the other after divorce.
Postnuptial contracts are only enforceable if they are in writing and signed by both parties, with witnesses present. Evidence of either party signing under duress or coercion could lead a court to void an otherwise valid postnup. A Toronto lawyer could offer more insight on what specific rules would apply in your situation and help avoid any legal obstacles during the drafting stages of a post-marital agreement.
Once a court approves a postnuptial contract, the terms of that agreement become legally binding on all parties and will remain so indefinitely unless you or your spouse successfully petitions for a modification of its terms based on substantial changes in circumstances that have made the old agreement untenable or unfair. This process would involve drafting a new terms to replace the old ones.
Virtually all the same procedural requirements that apply to drafting an initial postnuptial agreement also apply to modifying a postnup. Once again, assistance from a seasoned post-marital contracts lawyer in Toronto could make a substantial difference in your ability to achieve a positive resolution in this process. A local lawyer would understand Ontario law and know how to apply it effectively in your specific case.
Postnuptial agreements can be a huge benefit to both parties in a marriage, as postnups can help resolve disputes before they have a chance to begin and can greatly simplify and streamline the divorce process if either party ever wants to dissolve the marriage. However, there are various regulations governing post-marital contracts that can be difficult to understand and efficiently comply with without support from seasoned legal counsel.
A knowledgeable Toronto postnuptial agreements lawyer could advocate on your behalf and help pursue a mutually agreeable resolution throughout every stage of the drafting process. Learn more about the benefits of postnups by calling The Riley Divorce & Family Law Firm today.
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